Cancer is when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way. Some cancers may eventually spread into other tissues. There are more than 200 different types of cancer.
Cancer starts when gene changes make one cell or a few cells begin to grow and multiply too much. This may cause a growth called a tumour. A primary tumour is the name for where a cancer starts. Cancer can sometimes spread to other parts of the body – this is called a secondary tumour or a metastasis. Cancer and its treatments can affect body systems, such as the blood circulation, lymphatic and immune systems, and the hormone system.
Most cancers start due to gene changes that happen over a person’s lifetime.More rarely cancers start due to inherited faulty genes passed down in families.
Cancers are divided into groups according to the type of cell they start from. They include
- Brain tumours
Cancer occurs when cells become abnormal and keep dividing and forming more cells without control or order, forming a growth or tumor. Benign tumors are NOT cancer; malignant tumors are cancer. Cancer stem cell content and the intrinsic radio sensitivity of cancer stem cells is thought to vary between tumors, thereby affecting their radio curability. Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast. The spread of cancer from one part of the body to another is called metastasis.
Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Cancer
Symptoms and treatment depend on the cancer type and how advanced it is. Treatment plans may include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Causes of Cancer cells are the building blocks of living things. Cancer grows out of normal cells in the body. Normal cells multiply when the body needs them, and die when the body doesn’t. Cancer appears to occur when the growth of cells in the body is out of control and cells divide too rapidly. It can also occur when cells “forget” how to die. There are many different kinds of cancers. Cancer can develop in almost any organ or tissue, such as the lung, colon, breast, skin, bones, or nerve tissue. The mutation in the DNA changes these instructions, so that the cells carry on growing. This causes the cells to reproduce in an uncontrollable manner producing a lump of tissue, known as a tumors.
Symptoms of cancer depend on the type and location of the tumor. For example, lung cancer can cause coughing, shortness of breath, or chest pain, while colon cancer often causes diarrhea, constipation, and blood in the stool. Local symptoms – these occur when the cancer is contained in one part of your body. changes in bowel or bladder habits, a sore that does not heal, unusual bleeding or discharge, thickening or lump in the breast or any other part of the body, indigestion or difficulty swallowing, obvious change in a wart or mole, or nagging cough or hoarseness.
Types of Cancer
Treatment of Cancer
Treatment also varies based on the type of cancer and its stage. The stage of a cancer refers to how much it has grown and whether the tumor has spread from its original location If the cancer is confined to one location and has not spread, the goal for treatment would be surgery and cure. If the tumor has spread to local lymph nodes only, sometimes these can also be removed.
Some of Cancer treatment methods are
The method is used in localized cancer. This is cancer that is contained in one area. Here the doctors take you to the theater and surgically remove the cancellous material. The surgery can be open or invasive. In open surgery, the surgeon makes a large cut and removes healthy tissues, the tumor, and sometimes the nearby lymph nodes. In invasive surgery, the surgeon makes a few small cuts and inserts a long, thin tube with a camera into the small cuts. The camera helps the doctor to monitor the inside of the body so that he/she can see what he/she is doing.
The method uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The treatment method works by stopping or slowing down the growth of cancerous cells.
Doctors use the method to treat cancer and also ease the disease symptoms. Depending on the extent of your cancer, the treatment can be used alone or to help other methods. While the method is useful, its principal flaw is that the medications used tend not only to kill the tumor cells, it also kills the healthy cells.
Hormone therapy is used in the treatment of cancer that uses hormones to grow. The treatment works in two ways. It can block the body’s ability to produce hormones. It can also interfere with how hormones behave in the body. In most cases, it’s used with other treatment options where it reduces the size of the cancer cells. It also lowers the risk of cancer coming back and kills the cancer cells that might have returned or spread to other parts of the body.
Targeted therapy is the foundation of precision medicine. The treatment method focuses the parts that help the cancer cells to grow, spread, and divide. The method works in many ways. It helps the immune system to destroy cancer cells, stops the cancer cells from growing, prevents the signals that help the formation of blood vessels and causes the cancer cells to die.
This treatment option relies on high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. At high doses, radiation kills cancellous cells or slows their growth by damaging their DNA. The treatment option doesn’t kill the cells right away-it takes a few days or weeks to do so.
You’ve probably heard conflicting reports about cancer prevention. Sometimes the specific cancer-prevention tip recommended in one study or news report is advised against in another.
In many cases, what is known about cancer prevention is still evolving. However, it’s well-accepted that your chances of developing cancer are affected by the lifestyle choices you make.
So if you’re concerned about cancer prevention, take comfort in the fact that some simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference. Consider these seven cancer prevention tips.
1. Don’t use tobacco
Using any type of tobacco puts you on a collision course with cancer. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer — including cancer of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney. Chewing tobacco has been linked to cancer of the oral cavity and pancreas. Even if you don’t use tobacco, exposure to secondhand smoke might increase your risk of lung cancer.
Avoiding tobacco — or deciding to stop using it — is one of the most important health decisions you can make. It’s also an important part of cancer prevention. If you need help quitting tobacco, ask your doctor about stop-smoking products and other strategies for quitting.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Although making healthy selections at the grocery store and at mealtime can’t guarantee cancer prevention, it might help reduce your risk. Consider these guidelines:
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Base your diet on fruits, vegetables and other foods from plant sources — such as whole grains and beans.
- Avoid obesity. Eat lighter and leaner by choosing fewer high-calorie foods, including refined sugars and fat from animal sources.
- If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. The risk of various types of cancer — including cancer of the breast, colon, lung, kidney and liver — increases with the amount of alcohol you drink and the length of time you’ve been drinking regularly.
- Limit processed meats. A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, concluded that eating large amounts of processed meat can slightly increase the risk of certain types of cancer.
In addition, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet focuses on mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. People who follow the Mediterranean diet choose healthy fats, like olive oil, over butter and fish instead of red meat.
3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active
Maintaining a healthy weight might lower the risk of various types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, lung, colon and kidney.
Physical activity counts, too. In addition to helping you control your weight, physical activity on its own might lower the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer.
Adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits. But for substantial health benefits, strive to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. As a general goal, include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine — and if you can do more, even better.
4. Protect yourself from the sun
Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer — and one of the most preventable. Try these tips:
- Avoid midday sun. Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Stay in the shade. When you’re outdoors, stay in the shade as much as possible. Sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat help, too.
- Cover exposed areas. Wear tightly woven, loosefitting clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible. Opt for bright or dark colors, which reflect more ultraviolet radiation than pastels or bleached cotton.
- Don’t skimp on sunscreen. Use generous amounts of sunscreen when you’re outdoors, and reapply often.
- Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. These are just as damaging as natural sunlight.
5. Get immunized
Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Talk to your doctor about immunization against:
- Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can increase the risk of developing liver cancer. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for certain high-risk adults — such as adults who are sexually active but not in a mutually monogamous relationship, people with sexually transmitted infections, intravenous drug users, men who have sex with men, and health care or public safety workers who might be exposed to infected blood or body fluids.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical and other genital cancers as well as squamous cell cancers of the head and neck. The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys ages 11 and 12. It is also available to both men and women age 26 or younger who didn’t have the vaccine as adolescents.
6. Avoid risky behaviors
Another effective cancer prevention tactic is to avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections that, in turn, might increase the risk of cancer. For example:
- Practice safe sex. Limit your number of sexual partners, and use a condom when you have sex. The more sexual partners you have in your lifetime, the more likely you are to contract a sexually transmitted infection — such as HIV or HPV. People who have HIV or AIDS have a higher risk of cancer of the anus, liver and lung. HPV is most often associated with cervical cancer, but it might also increase the risk of cancer of the anus, penis, throat, vulva and vagina.
- Don’t share needles. Sharing needles with an infected drug user can lead to HIV, as well as hepatitis B and hepatitis C — which can increase the risk of liver cancer. If you’re concerned about drug abuse or addiction, seek professional help.
7. Get regular medical care
Regular self-exams and screenings for various types of cancers — such as cancer of the skin, colon, cervix and breast — can increase your chances of discovering cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful. Ask your doctor about the best cancer screening schedule for you.
Take cancer prevention into your own hands, starting today. The rewards will last a lifetime.
Cancers are a bit different to each other’s but the fears and worries patients have is similar. The best option to reduce stress and focus on proper treatment of cancer is to know more about it.
Find below cancer guides so that you are made aware of important aspects of it.